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Montevideo, July 18th 2024 - 02:41 UTC



World Boxing Council to open up to transgender fighters category

Saturday, December 31st 2022 - 10:00 UTC
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There should be no gray areas around this, Sulaiman said There should be no gray areas around this, Sulaiman said

The World Boxing Council's (WBC) Mexican President Mauricio Sulaiman said transgender athletes may have their space in 2023.

“We will make a global call for those who are interested in 2023 and we will establish the protocols, start the consultation and probably create a league and a tournament [...] It is the time to do this, and we are doing it for safety and inclusion,” Sulaiman said.

The decision to create a single category for transgender boxing responds to reasons of equality of physical conditions since, otherwise, there were differences in strength that would jeopardize the athletes' health.

“We have been the leaders in women's boxing rules, so the dangers of a man fighting a woman will never happen [...] There should be no gray areas around this, and we want to address it with transparency and the right decisions. Female-to-male or male-to-female transgender change will never be allowed to fight a different gender by birth,” Sulaiman insisted.

The Mexico-based World Boxing Council is, along with the United States-based International Boxing Federation, the Panama-based World Boxing Association, and the Puerto Rico-based World Boxing Organization, one of the four major international boxing championship recognizing groups.

The issue of trans participation in sports has become increasingly contentious. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has promoted the inclusion of trans athletes but has left it up to the various sports federations to determine the risks and fairness of male-born athletes competing against female-born rivals.

Sulaiman said that the WBC was nonetheless aiming to ensure participation as trans boxers “fully deserve to [compete] if they want to box.”

“We’re opening a universal registration in 2023 so that we can understand the boxers that are out there – and we’ll start from there,” he added.

Governing bodies in some sports such as triathlon have allowed trans participation as long as certain rules on testosterone levels are adhered to, while swimmers have a separate category.

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